Special Issue "Non-timber Forest Products (NTFPs) and Prospects for Bioeconomy in the Tropics"

A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907). This special issue belongs to the section "Forest Economics, Policy, and Social Science".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (22 June 2023) | Viewed by 2107

Special Issue Editors

Departamento de Cartografia, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte 31270-901, MG, Brazil
Interests: natural resource management; environment biodiversity and conservation; environmental science; sustainable development; environmental analysis; sustainability forest management; environmental impact assessment
Critical Zone Research Group, Water Technology and Management, CSIR-National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, Nagpur 440020, India
Interests: forestry; urban ecology; biodiversity; climate change; EIA; nature-based solutions; sustainable use; lesser known wild edibles; agrobiodiversity; indigenous and local knowledge systems; policy analysis; restoration; sustainability sciences
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Forest-based livelihoods are complex, and often include the use of a variety of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) throughout the year in order to meet household subsistence needs, trade (formal and informal) or for diverse recreational and religious uses. The use of NTFPs in forest-based livelihoods is inherently linked to cultural values, religion, as well as informal Indigenous and traditional ecological knowledge (ITEK) systems. Despite the ecological and cultural importance of the NTFPs to forest-based livelihoods and the promising role of bioeconomy as a development strategy, NTFPs (particularly in the tropics) tend to be marketed as raw unprocessed materials with low added value that give them less economic value compared to value-added NTFPs. Bioeconomy is believed to add value to these raw unprocessed NTFPs and foster their sustainable use by infusing scientific knowledge as well as technological and social innovation into the processing and economic valuation of NTFPs, supporting their ecological conservation. The Nagoya Protocol (NP) may advance prospects for adding value to the use of NTFPs and their associated Indigenous and traditional knowledge. The Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) clearing house (https://absch.cbd.int/) provides mechanisms to foster and add value to the use of biodiversity. However, the implementation of bioeconomy agendas (from global to local) and market-driven approaches has its own tradeoffs and controversies.

In this Special Issue we call for papers that explore the role and relevance of bioeconomy in adding value to NTFPs, as well as those that explore the benefits of bioeconomy for both industry and forest-dependent communities alike. We call for papers that summarize, interpret and review data that attempt to include a characterization and inventory of NTFPs (rather than only focusing on single NTFPs) used by households across the world that might benefit from the growing bioeconomy agenda. Our questions are as follows:

  • What is the potential of NTFP-based bioeconomy in livelihood security and income inequality mitigation?
  • From the diversity of the NTFPs used by forest livelihoods, how many and which potential NTFPs are likely to be successfully included into the bioeconomy of national/regional agendas?
  • How can markets for NTFPs be beneficial to biodiversity and communities where biodiversity knowledge originates, in addition to being beneficial to industry?
  • What are the policy and governance implications for transition to NTFP-based bioeconomy?

Prof. Dr. Sónia Maria Carvalho-Ribeiro
Dr. Shalini Dhyani
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Forests is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • NTFP
  • household and macro-economics
  • livelihoods
  • policy
  • sustainability
  • sustainable development transformation
  • new product development
  • bioeconomy

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Markets for Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs): The Role of Community-Based Tourism (CBT) in Enhancing Brazil’s Sociobiodiversity
Forests 2023, 14(2), 298; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14020298 - 03 Feb 2023
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Under detailed settings, tourism can add to the material and immaterial values of the use of biodiversity, such as non-timber forest products (NTFPs) collected by traditional communities, towards sustainability in rural landscapes. A critical aspect is to effectively assess where to implement tourism [...] Read more.
Under detailed settings, tourism can add to the material and immaterial values of the use of biodiversity, such as non-timber forest products (NTFPs) collected by traditional communities, towards sustainability in rural landscapes. A critical aspect is to effectively assess where to implement tourism modalities that enhance NTFP extractivism and reduce the emphasis on the quantities extracted (yields). Here, we map NTFP extractivism and community-based tourism initiatives in Brazil to explore local markets, use a spatially explicit modeling approach and map landscape-scale governance mechanisms to upscale where sociobiodiversity can be successfully cherished through a community-led visitation and management model. Our results show suitable large areas to upscale community-based tourism (CBT) markets for NTFP extractivism in the Amazon and Cerrado, which can be supported by available social capital and partnerships. However, there is a lack of infrastructure and institutions to support their implementation. We evidence innovative ways for enhancing the role of tourism for Brazil’s sociobiodiversity and fostering transitions towards multifunctional sustainable land uses. Full article
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